Eli looked at the depths of space, the colours you couldn't describe if you tried, the worlds they had visited , the beings they had encountered and contemplated the vastness of it all and the enormity of the task in front of him… What if he couldn't do it ? What if he died trying ? What if he ran out of food before he could finish his task and everybody was put in jeopardy ? What if ? What if ?.. Thoughts raced through his head. A grin formed. He loved a challenge. That's what got him here to begin with. Only this wasn't some computer game. He couldn't restart the level and try something else. He had to get it right first time and be certain of what he was going to do.
After what seemed an eternity Eli slowly raised himself up and took one more backward glance, a smile slowly appeared on his face as he entered the main corridor. Lights were at their lowest to save what energy left he could. Shadows played across the walls as he made his way to the bridge, noises seemed louder and his footsteps echoed eerily. This was the place that Rush had kept secret for so long. Now it was his turn to discover new things, new programmes and to discover the true soul of Destiny, the true purpose this ship was launched for so many millennia ago.
At first Eli just walked around the bridge familiarising himself with the various control panels and what information they produced. He touched the panels with his fingertips and almost seemed to be in a daydream. They floated along and lingered in some places and passed over others. Eli thoughts wandered, the ship had a mind of its own that he needed to master, no not master, not control, he needed to work in a partnership and he needed to work fast. He read the information from a few of the screens. Most of the information was just routine stuff. How fast they travelled and the temperature of the ship. He checked that there wasn't some power somewhere else he could save to give him more time. He needed time and it was time he didn't have. He was on a countdown and time was passing. Mind you three years was a long time. A long time to be alone. Mind you he spent a lot of time on his own at home in front of his computer playing games that took him to alternative universes. That was until O Neill had turned up and tore his old life apart and transported him to a starship that flew far above the earth and for crying out loud he was in his pj's! He knew he wouldnt be seeing his mother for a long if she wasnt there when he got home because he was getting home. Thoughts flew round and round his head.
"arrgh!" He cried in frustration. He had to stop thinking like this or he wouldn't get himself anywhere. He wandered around some more. Eventually he found himself at the most important place on the ship , the Captains chair. Eli slowly eased himself into it and sat looking out again at the depths of space. He felt the moulded seat arm under his hand and it felt good. He could get used to this. What a game chair. Unfortunately this wasn't a game. This was real life and this was really important. He began to click the various buttons and bring up various screens detailing data needed for the ship to run smoothly.
" Oh wow, this is better than Star Trek !" His voice echoed around the empty bridge, "I said that out loud! I'm really going to have to watch myself"
The bridge was silent again apart from the comforting hum of the ship and the odd bleep from the clicked on various programmes and checked the ship was doing just as it should The life pods were next. Everything was just as it should be. Then he did a scan of the space around the ship. Everything was fine. Next he listened to the sound Rush had found. The sound that drove Destiny to who knew what future. He tried playing with the pitch of the sound. There was something niggling at the back of his mind. Something familiar, something he had heard before. He listened to it a while longer and realised he was hungry and cold. He stood up and made his way to the mess hall to see what there was to eat.
What he wouldn't do for a bag of chips or a burger or a hotdog. His stomach growled at the memory. Or a coke! It had been that long he couldn't even remember the taste. He salivated just thinking about the combinations of food now denied him. When he sat down, it was to a bowl full of a vegetable of some sort. Not all food had been given names yet. He smiled as he thought of what his mom would say at the change in diet. This was like the old days when he was working on solving a problem in a game. He had to analyse the problem, compartmentalise it, he only had one chance at this. He looked around the empty mess hall, looking at all the empty places where his friends should be sitting, no not should, would. He was going to solve this. He pondered his situation as he ate and as he finished his meal realised how tired he was. He picked up his Keno control and set a number of Keno's to cover the ship. At least while he slept he would be made aware of anything happening.
Stiff and weary, Eli made his way slowly alone to his room. Wow! Another thought popped into his head. He could change rooms! He could sleep where he liked! Eli now hurried to his room. First he gathered his bedding, next a few of his personal items and carried them to the observation deck. A room with a view and what a view that was. After making his bed Eli climbed in. Exhausted from the days work. His mind going over what he needed to accomplish. His head nodded and within a few moments, slipped into a deep sleep.
While he slept, Destiny made small course changes, avoiding hazards which would damage the ship or endanger her human cargo . She was just a small element in a vast arena. Galaxy after galaxy, star after star. Heading for who knew where, for how long was anybody's guess. She had already travelled for a millennia. Witnessing things we couldn't even imagine in our wildest dreams. Eli slept on. The Kenos carried out their sweeps of the ship. Everything was right within the Destiny world.
Eli woke and rubbed his eyes and yawned. Then he looked around him. At first disorientated he remembered he moved rooms last night. He sat up and a happy grin widened on his face. He was just where he should be, wherever here was. Carefully he got out of bed and picked up the Keno hand control. He did a quick scan of the data and stopped. What was that? It looked like a shadow walking down one of the corridors. Surely not. He was seeing things. He ran the data again. No it was definitely human looking. So first he was hearing things and now he was seeing ghosts. He replayed the footage again. No it was definitely a person. This was too much. Well there was nothing for it, he was going to have to investigate. Reluctantly he took himself to one of the control columns and armed himself. He felt silly as well as scared. What did he think he was going to find. He checked on one of the screens to see if anything had been recorded by Destiny's systems. According to them there was nothing to be seen and nothing had occurred. This was getting weirder by the minute.
Eli made his way to the corridor where the person had been seen. On the way he found nothing out of the ordinary. He checked the doors that had been sealed and they hadn't been disturbed. He had sent a Keno ahead of him and that was showing him the same thing. There was nothing different, no clues nothing left behind to provide proof of anything at all happening. He daren't risk raising the lights because it would use up his valuable reserves of energy. He didn't know when destiny would choose to recharge if she had the opportunity to. Slowly he approached the corridor where the person had been seen. There was nothing there except the empty corridor. Then he noticed an open doorway. Swallowing hard he walked towards the open space. He recognised this now. Wasn't this Franklins old room. He hadn't thought about Franklin in a long time. Another tragic death. This one of self sacrifice to prove a point.
He entered the room slowly, his eyes scanning for anything that moved in the deep shadows. Nothing. There was nothing there. The room was as empty and bare as it had been for a long time. Franklins personal effects had been removed and stored a long time ago and no one had asked to be reassigned here. Eli walked up to the window and took a peek outside. Well the room did have a good view but Eli decided this would not be the room for him. He felt creeped out and he shuddered. Even though all the personal things were gone and it was as sterile as when they first arrived he felt like he was intruding and that this room really still belonged to Franklin. He still wondered what happened to him. It was a mystery with a lot of supposition. Nobody really knew what had happened to him. Apart from whining and whinging about how hard the beds were and how bad the food was nobody really mixed with Franklin much. He was the one who sat in the chair after tricking Eli to leave the room on the premise of getting some food. He succumbed to the chair and Eli had found him connected to the chair convulsing. Eventually they had got him out but he was in a coma and then became catatonic. When they had been attacked by the Nakai it was Franklin who begged to be put in the chair once more. He saved Destiny but in the process he died. At least that's what everyone assumed because there was no body. Some had said he had ascended, others that he had been vaporised by the chair and others that he had become part of the ships systems by having his conscious uploaded to the ship. Whatever had happened he didn't want to be here and Eli left the room and made his way to the bridge once more.
Eli liked the bridge it was spacious and had all the things in it Eli loved. Ancient had been a bit tricky to learn but he got the hang of it on the game he had played. The game that brought him here in the first place and look where that had got him. Lost in space, hurtling towards who knew what. But he had to get down to the business in hand. He went to the main console he had worked on yesterday. That was odd, there was a new diagnostic running for a system he'd never seen before. He didn't remember setting this off, not from here or from one of the other consoles dotted about the ship. He didn't even recognise the data it was processing. He tried to end the programme and was rewarded with a rather loud rude beep. Surprised Eli sat up. That wasn't right. He had the command key. Again he tried to overide the programme and again was rewarded with the same rude beep. If he didnt know any better he'd say Rush was up to something but Rush wasnt here. he was frozen with the others. Again he tried to find out what the programme was for and again was rewarded with the same went into the diagnostic programme and it told him that he didnt have access to this programme. He went to another console and tried again. Nothing, he wasnt going to get access so easily to this. There was a command prompt that he just didnt recognise. He typed a few prompts of his own and still got nothing.
He started back at the beginning, Eli typed away and then suddenly sat up. The programme had just disappeared. He typed some more. That couldnt be right! He hadnt turned it off he was sure. He clicked to the logs and began to scroll down. This was getting weird because according to Destiny no such programme had run
"Its got to be here" Eli groaned. This mission was going to be a lot harder than he thought .There was no record of it ever running, nothing. Eli's mind wondered back to his earlier thought. "I wonder if this is anything to do with Rush?"